Meet John Gunnison! He’s a fourth year Engineering Physics major and EECS minor. As graduation rapidly approaches, John looks back on his awesome Berkeley experience.

“Hello everyone! My name is John Gunnison and I’m a fourth year from Anaheim, California studying Engineering Physics and minoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Besides playing tenor drums (the big quad drums) in Cal Band for the last 4 years I’ve had the privilege to get involved with some pretty neat groups here at Berkeley.

I’m a pretty internationally minded person who fell in love with traveling and meeting people from different cultures after studying abroad at the University of Hong Kong in the spring of 2012. Since my return I’ve gotten involved with Berkeley’s international office helping new full time international students and temporary exchange student acclimate to Berkeley and the culture of United States. I’ve been a part of the international buddies program which paired me up with an exchange student from the Netherlands last semester and this coming fall I’ll be a part of a new program working as an international peer mentor for new international freshmen students. I’ll get paired up with a group of international freshmen and be invested in helping them navigate a brand new place and culture. So far I’ve loved getting to meet people from different cultures and I’m made some awesome friendships with some exchange students who I hope I’ll be able to visit some day in their home countries. I’m super excited for the upcoming semester and getting to know and mentor new international students who I hope will benefit a lot from having an experienced Berkeley student helping them out.

I’m also actively involved in research here on campus working with a civil systems engineering research group that does research work in transportation and social science. Since my 2nd year I’ve been working in the group programming android smart phones to collect data for various experiments the groups runs. One of our coolest projects I’ve worked on was tracking users with smart phones and figuring out what their mode of transportation was. I know it sounds kind of creepy to have someone know where you are at all times and even how you get around but it was a really interesting and challenging project to figure out if someone was riding a bike, driving, taking a bus, etc. just from the data that we can collect using the sensors on a person’s phone. As an example, think about the differences between driving a car and taking a bus and how you could figure which was which just from information collected from someone’s smart phone. Having the opportunity to work with that group for the past three years has been an awesome experience that’s been invaluable in my technical education and will give me a lot of opportunities going forward. In fact, because of the skills I’ve learned working with that group I’ll be working this summer as a software engineer intern at Amazon, Inc. working on software that runs on the kindle fire tablet.

I’ll be returning to Berkeley in the fall to finish my last semester but won’t be returning to the marching band. I’ve had a great time in Cal Band during the past four years but I think I’m going to need some time next semester to figure out what I’m doing with the rest of my life after graduation. I’ve loved my Berkeley experience and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. As always, Cal Band Great and Go Bears!” ~ John Gunnison